A great many people are puzzled by Obama’s energy policy. His public stance is that America is “addicted to oil,” that America has 2% of the world’s population but uses 20% of the world’s oil supply, and America is contributing to global warming by virtue of our use of fossil fuels. He packages all of this together and uses that package as an argument for greatly increased fossil fuel costs and the development of “Green Energy.”

In typical fashion, Obama wants to use social guilt to motivate change. By its very nature, guilt is an emotion that paralyzes effective assertive behavior. Guilt is a human emotion that is astonishingly easy to induce and is very useful for manipulating individuals and groups. More on that in a future column. If enough Americans can be made to experience fraudulent guilt about America’s energy use they can be convinced to support a fraudulent Green Energy agenda just in order to feel good about themselves. Thus Obama has sold the nation on pursuit of a Green Energy agenda that is based upon an emerging technology that will not be ready for mass production or practical use for many years.

The free market is very effective at evaluating and supporting new products and technologies while governments are notorious failures. Just ask anyone from the old Socialist/Communist nations that relied upon central planning bureaucracy to produce junk. Obama’s companies (Solyndra, Evergreen Energies, Beacon Power, Enerl, and many others) have gone bankrupt because the market will not accept their “Green” products. Let us not forget the over-hyped Obama Chevy Volt that has been pulled from the market “for several months” due to overpowering disinterest from the free market.

The best way to treat false guilt based on false premises or false information is to examine the falsities.

It is probably true that America uses 20-25% of the world’s available oil market supply. That is true because America’s entrepreneurial expertise and technology has produced products and a quality of life unavailable in many other countries. We are a very successful society. That is hardly a sensible basis for guilt. What are we to do, decrease our standard of living to satisfy Obama? It is also true that the United States apparently uses such an overabundant percentage of the world’s available oil  because the United States has been prevented by Obama policies from producing oil in America, thus actually reducing the available world supply. In effect, Obama is hoarding American energy reserves. If America actually produced the amount of fossil fuels we are capable of producing, there would be little need to use other countries’ oil. Obama’s math is always suspect. For instance, his administration has been boasting of a pre-election decrease in the unemployment rate. He does not report that is due in a significant degree to the large number of people who have simply stopped looking for work and are not included in the government count. You might say they have lost hope for any change. Yup, fewer people are looking for work, OK.

Obama is still intent upon reducing our fossil fuel use by increasing our fossil fuel costs and convincing us that we are damaging the world climate, i.e. we must feel guilty for a great global sin. Therefore Obama wants us to pay other countries in the form of a hugely expensive cap-and-trade scheme that does nothing to reduce carbon emissions but instead does a great deal to increase our energy costs and the balance in Al Gore’s checkbook.  

We must atone for our sins. It seems to be a version of the old religious scam of paying money to obtain indulgences to reduce the punishment for sinning. Through my fault, through my fault. Mea culpa, Obama. Help me feel better about driving my V-8 Mustang. How much must I pay? The problem, of course, is that the hypothesis of human contribution to global warming is no longer a viable scientific “consensus” except among some limited environmental extremists. Don’t be paralyzed by Obama’s fraudulent guilt trips. If I start feeling guilty about some Obama guilt trip, I look for the fraud before asking forgiveness.